Wanting to Write

Over the course of the past several months, I've had more and more people ask me about writing. Many have been asking how to start, others are looking to finish up a manuscript that they began, but set aside after becoming sidetracked. So, if you are someone who has always wanted to write, or has always wanted to finish that writing project I'm here to tell you that you can (and should) do it.

Of course, like anything else in life (channeling my parents here), embarking upon your writing journey will require a certain amount of sacrifice. If you truly wish to write, however, I can tell you that sacrifice is definitely worth it. You're investing in yourself, after all, and taking time to write (or dance, or paint, or draw, learn a language, etc.) can often seem frivolous.

When you choose to commit yourself to an artistic endeavor, you're investing in yourself. You're giving yourself permission to play — perhaps for the first time in a long time, perhaps even for the first time in your adult life. Beginning a writing practice requires a commitment of 7 - 15 minutes a day. I recommend that people do this everyday, even on weekends partially to get into a rhythm and partially as a gift to themselves.

Life is too long to put off important things. After all, no matter when you start it will technically be "today", so why not make that "today" be today's "today"? Are you still following me? I know the little kid deep inside you is. So let yourself play, one day at a time, and just explore and see how it goes for the next week.

Buy some notecards and a pen or pencil to write with. Take the cellophane off the notecards. Write on the fronts or the backs. If you want to really push the boundaries write on the fronts and the backs. In both pen and pencil if you choose. Play with ideas and see where they take you — even if it gets weird. Really, really weird. Let the sky be the limit for your weirdness.

Some of you reading this might find this intriguing and yet still be intimidated. For years I had a voice saying, "but what if I suck?". Well, you probably will suck — at least at first. I tell people that it took me 4 1/2 - 5 years before I could finally articulate what I want onto the computer screen. All of this is completely normal.

But don't worry about sucking. Because the one thing they probably didn't teach you in school is that writing isn't just about writing. Writing often involves lots of rewriting. Even "good" writing needs tweaking and tuning. But "sucking" isn't an excuse for not writing — or "not doing" anything that you're truly drawn to.

After all, each of us had to learn how to walk, and read, and do a million other things that we barely even think of now. I can tell you that it's the same for writing, and practically any other endeavor that is truly worthwhile to you.

So start writing — today. And if you don't, then try again tomorrow, which will of course, be "today" again. It's amazing how many chances the Universe tends to give us. Just write.